Interspecies nutrient extraction and toxin delivery between bacteria.

Nature communications (2017-08-23)
Ofer Stempler, Amit K Baidya, Saurabh Bhattacharya, Ganesh Babu Malli Mohan, Elhanan Tzipilevich, Lior Sinai, Gideon Mamou, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
ABSTRACT

Bacteria have developed various mechanisms by which they sense, interact, and kill other bacteria, in an attempt to outcompete one another and survive. Here we show that Bacillus subtilis can kill and prey on Bacillus megaterium. We find that Bacillus subtilis rapidly inhibits Bacillus megaterium growth by delivering the tRNase toxin WapA. Furthermore, utilizing the methionine analogue L-azidohomoalanine as a nutrient reporter, we provide evidence of nutrient extraction from Bacillus megaterium by Bacillus subtilis. Toxin delivery and nutrient extraction occur in a contact-dependent manner, and both activities are abolished in the absence of the phosphodiestrase YmdB, shown previously to mediate intercellular nanotube formation. Furthermore, we detect the localization of WapA molecules to nanotubes. Thus, we propose that Bacillus subtilis utilizes the same nanotube apparatus in a bidirectional manner, delivering toxin and acquiring beneficial cargo, thereby maximally exploiting potential niche resources.Bacteria can exchange nutrients and macromolecules through tubular membranous structures called nanotubes. Here, the authors show that Bacillus subtilis can kill and prey on Bacillus megaterium by delivering a toxin and extracting nutrients in a nanotube-dependent manner.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Tris(3-hydroxypropyltriazolylmethyl)amine, 95%